ANCHORING: The Psychological Phenomenon that Affects our Everyday Decisions and Negotiation Ability
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Ever wondered why the first piece of information you hear often sticks in your mind and influences your decisions? Dive into the fascinating world of Anchoring, a psychological phenomenon that plays a crucial role in your everyday choices and negotiation skills. Don't miss this eye-opening exploration!

Hi everyone, Mary Daphne here. Ever walked into a store, spotted a jacket you liked, and then saw the price tag? Ouch, 200? But wait, right next to it, a sign screams 50 percent off. Suddenly, that 100 seems like a steal, doesn't it? Welcome to the world of anchoring, one of the most powerful psychological tricks our brains play on us.

Especially when it comes to money. A few years back, I was in New York, strolling through Soho. I walked into this boutique store, and there it was. The perfect leather jacket. The price? Let's just say it was more than I'd usually spend. But the salesperson was quick to point out that it was on a limited time discount from its original price.

And guess what? I bought it. Not just because it was a good deal, but because that original price set an anchor in my mind. It made the discounted price seem much more attractive.

That's anchoring for you. It's not just a sales tactic. It's a psychological phenomenon that affects our everyday decisions, especially when it comes to negotiating. And today, we're diving deep into it. So stick around. Let's get into it.

All right, so let's get into the nitty gritty of anchoring. At its core, anchoring is a cognitive bias. Now, I know, I know, cognitive bias sounds like some fancy term from a psychology textbook, but stick with me. It's basically our brain's way of taking shortcuts. We all do it. We take the first piece of information we get, and we hold onto it like it's a lifeline.

That first piece of information? It sets the stage for everything that follows. It becomes our anchor. Now, imagine you're at a coffee shop and you overhear somebody saying that they sold their car for $15,000. Now, when you think about selling your car, that $15,000 figure is stuck in your head.

Even if your car is newer, has fewer miles, or is just plain better, that $15,000 is your anchor. So, you might think you're immune to it, but trust me, we all fall for it. It's just how our brains are wired. Now, why is this so crucial? Because that anchor, that initial number or piece of information, influences everything.

It's like when you're trying to guess the number of jelly beans in a jar. If the first person guesses 500, the next few guesses are probably going to be around that number, give or take. That's anchoring in action. It's not about logic or reason, it's about our brain's love for shortcuts. But here's where it gets interesting.

Anchoring isn't just something that happens to us. It's a tool, a strategy. In negotiations, the first number that's thrown out there, that's setting the anchor. And if you know how to use it right, it can be a game changer for you. Think about it. If you're selling something, and you set a high anchor, you're framing the entire negotiation.

You're setting the tone, the expectations, and more often than not, you'll find that the final agreed upon price is closer to your anchor than if you'd started low. Now on the flip side, if you're the buyer and someone throws out a high anchor, don't be thrown off.

Recognize it for what it is. A tactic! And guess what? You can counter with your own anchor. It's like a dance. And when you know the steps, you can lead. So, the next time that you're in a negotiation or even just making a decision, be aware of the anchors around you. 

Recognize them, understand their power, and use them to your advantage. Because at the end of the day, understanding anchoring isn't just about making better decisions. It's about taking control.

Alright, so let's dive deeper. Let's talk about the importance and impact of anchoring. Why does anchoring matter so much, especially in negotiations? Well, think about the last time you negotiated for something. Maybe a salary, a car, or even a deal at a flea market. 

The first number that was thrown out, whether by you or by the other party, didn't it set the tone for the entire conversation? That is the power of anchoring. It's not just some abstract, psychological concept. It's a real, tangible force that shapes our decisions every single day. Now, I'm not just saying this off the top of my head.

There's a ton of research out there that underscores the influence of anchoring in negotiations. Studies have shown that the initial anchor, whether it's high or low, can significantly sway the final outcome. For instance, if you're selling a product and you start with a higher anchor, the final negotiated price tends to be higher than if you'd started with a lower anchor.

It's not magic. It's psychology. But here's the kicker. While the anchor plays a massive role, it's not just about the number. It's about the value behind that number. So if you throw out a high anchor without any justification, it's just a number. But, if you back it up with value, with reasons, with benefits, that anchor becomes a lot more persuasive.

Let me give you a real life example. Imagine that you're selling a course, instead of just saying, my course costs $500. You could say this course, which has helped over 1000 people increase their income by an average of 20 percent in just six months is priced at $500. See the difference? The second approach sets a value based anchor. It's not just about the price.

It's about the transformation, the results. 

Now let's flip the script. Say you're on the buying end and someone throws a high anchor at you. Your first reaction might be to balk at the price. But instead of getting stuck on that anchor, challenge it, ask questions, understand the value behind that number.

And if it doesn't add up... Don't be afraid to set your own anchor. Remember, negotiations are a two way street.

Here's a practical example for you. A friend of mine was buying a used car. The seller started with an anchor of $15,000. Instead of immediately countering with a lower price, my friend asked about the car's history, any repairs, the mileage, and so on and so forth. After gathering all that information, he countered with his own anchor, backed by data and research, at $12,000.

So they eventually settled at $13,500. That's the power of understanding and leveraging anchoring in negotiations. So whether you're selling or buying or just making everyday decisions, remember the impact of anchoring. It's not just a number, it's a strategy. And when you master it, you'll find yourself navigating negotiations with confidence and finesse.

Let's dive into another real world example to see anchoring in action. So picture this, you're at a coffee shop and two people are sitting at the table next to you. One of them is trying to sell a vintage camera. 

The seller: this camera, it's a classic. I've seen it go for 500 online. 

Buyer: Whoa, 500? That's a bit steep for me.

Seller: With a confident smile. Well, considering its history and the quality of photos that it takes, it's a steal. But for you, I can do $400. 

Hmm, how about 350?

Meet me in the middle at 375 and it's yours. 


Alright, so now let's break that down. So the seller started with a high anchor of 500, setting the stage for the negotiation, right?

Even though the buyer felt it was high, the seller justified the price by highlighting the camera's value and history. And when the seller dropped to 400, it seemed like a significant discount from the initial anchor of 500, making it more appealing to the buyer. The final price, closer to the seller's anchor than the buyer's counter offer.

This is anchoring at its finest. It's not about being manipulative. It's about understanding human psychology and using it to guide the negotiation. The seller didn't just throw out random numbers. They anchored their price with value and justification. And that, my friends, is how you turn a simple cognitive bias into a powerful negotiation tool.

Alright team, let's get tactical. You've seen the power of anchoring and action, but how can you harness it in your own negotiations? Let's dive into some top tier strategies that I've personally used and seen work wonders.

First and foremost, your anchor isn't just about picking a number out of thin air. It's about setting a reasonable anchor based on value. I can't stress this enough. If you're selling a product or a service, you need to know its worth. What makes it unique?

What benefits does it offer? Why should someone pay your asking price? When you can answer these questions confidently, you've got a solid anchor. For instance, if you're a freelance designer, pitching to a new client, don't just say, "my rate is 100 an hour."

Instead, try, "given my experience and the quality of work I deliver, my rate is 100 an hour." You see the difference? The second approach is anchored in value. It's not just about the price. It's about the expertise and the results that you bring to the table.

But what if you're on the receiving end of an anchor that just feels off? Maybe it's too high or even too low. This is where the art of re anchoring comes into play. Don't just accept the first number thrown at you. Challenge it, ask questions, understand the rationale behind it, and if it doesn't align with your expectations or the value you perceive, set your own anchor.

Remember, negotiations are a two way street. Both parties have the power to influence the outcome. Now here's a golden nugget for you. Always be prepared to back up your anchor. If you're selling, have data, testimonials, or case studies on hand. If you're buying, arm yourself with market research or comparable prices.

Your anchor will be much more persuasive when it's grounded in facts and evidence. And here's the big one. Understand your value. This goes beyond just knowing your product's features or your service's benefits.

It's about understanding your worth in the grand scheme of things. Whether you're negotiating a salary, a contract, or a deal, you need to know what you bring to the table. What's your unique selling proposition? What sets you apart from the competition? When you have a clear grasp of your value, you can anchor with confidence.

Let me share a personal story. Early in my career, I was negotiating a partnership deal. The other party threw out an initial offer that was... Let's just say less than ideal. Instead of getting flustered, I took a step back, and I re anchored the conversation around the value that I was bringing to the partnership.

I highlighted my audience reach, the trust I built with my community, and the potential for mutual growth. 

By shifting the focus from just the numbers to value, we eventually landed on a deal that was beneficial for both sides. So, as you venture into your next negotiation, keep these strategies in mind. Set a value based anchor. Be prepared to re anchor if needed, and always, always understand your worth.

Because at the end of the day, anchoring isn't just about getting the best price. It's about creating win win situations where both parties feel valued and satisfied. And remember, negotiation is an art. It's a dance of psychology, strategy, and understanding human behavior. But with the right tools, like anchoring, you can navigate it with finesse and come out on top.

Alright team, we've covered a lot today and I hope you're feeling as pumped about anchoring as I am. But before we wrap up, I've got something special for you. If you're serious about leveling up your communication game, you need to check out Explearning Academy.

It's not just another course platform. It's a whole community dedicated to helping you master the art of communication. Imagine being part of a vibrant community where you can learn executive communication skills, hone your interpersonal prowess, and then practice it all in real time video calls. That's right, no more awkward silences at networking events or stumbling over your words in crucial meetings.

With Explearning Academy, you get a risk free environment to practice, refine, and perfect your skills. And the best part? It complements everything you learn from my free videos. 

It's like having a gym membership, but for your communication muscles.

Now, let's do a quick recap. Anchoring isn't just a fancy term. It's a powerful psychological tool that can make or break your negotiations. Set your anchor based on value, be ready to re anchor if needed, and always understand your worth and your value in the negotiation. As we mentioned, it's not just about getting the best deal. It's about creating value for both parties involved. I want to challenge you. The next time you're in a negotiation, whether it's big or small, try using anchoring. 

See how it shifts the dynamics and let me know how it goes.

I love hearing your success stories, and I bet this will be a game changer for many of you. 

Before you go on, if you found this video valuable, do me a favor, smash that like button, subscribe to the channel for more actionable insights, and drop a comment below.

Let me know your thoughts, your experiences, and any topics that you would like me to cover next.

Remember, mastering negotiation and communication isn't just about watching videos or reading books. It's about taking action, practicing, and continuously improving. And with resources like Explearning Academy and this channel, you've got everything you need to succeed. Thanks for tuning in and I'll see you in the next one.

Until then, keep negotiating, keep learning. And of course, keep exploring. Bye for now.

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About the Author and the Explearning Academy:

Mary Daphne is an expert in communication, executive interpersonal skills, and personal development. She is the founder of the Explearning Academy, a platform dedicated to helping individuals enhance their social fluency, boost their careers, and elevate their social game. Through immersive group coaching programs like the Executive Communication Lab and self-guided journeys, participants gain the social superpowers and career catapults they've been searching for. If you're ready to take your negotiation skills to the next level and connect with like-minded individuals, visit and explore the various plans available. Join the Explearning Academy community and unlock your full potential.

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